Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Next Story

Since last we’ve blogged, we’ve been working on the sequel to our first novel, Bobbie Titan in the Mark of Kain. It’s now just about ready for the professional editor. And the exercise of reading through the manuscript after putting it aside for half a year has renewed our faith in our ability to tell a story. It’s entitled Bobbie Titan in the Alternate Way and it is even more fun than our original collaboration.

We think sometimes authors are too timid with sequels. When the readers like what they did the first time, some writers are afraid to take chances with the second book. The early drafts of this book were that way. Luckily, we decided that we owed it to ourselves and to our faithful followers not to get too cozy with the original narrative and we decided to take some chances. We’re not sure the story would have ended up the way it did if we were writing it under contract with a traditional publishing house.

Maybe it’s a little too daring, but we don’t think so. There were some important social commentaries we wanted to sneak inside a teen adventure novel and to do that we needed Bobbie to explore areas many young adult novels stay away from. So, even though this book wanders further into science fiction, we think that what happens inside Bobbie’s head and heart is closer to what happens to many teenagers as they begin to tackle what it means to become an adult.

Now comes the tedious part. We need to make sure all of the pieces are in the right place and send it off to the editor. When we get it back we will have to read through each comment and make sure any changes are reflected consistently thoughout the entire manuscript. Then comes the final editorial proof, our final edit, creating the cover, writing descriptive paragraphs, updating our author biographies, and getting all this to our publishing agent. After that comes your chance to read the new Bobbie Titan and to let us know if we made the right decisions regarding our fictional heroine and if you like where the story is going.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Time To Reflect

It’s been a year since we independently published our first novel, Bobbie Titan in the Mark of Kain. Yesterday we did one of our favorite things and went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (we still think of it as the Wild Animal Park) to just walk around and discuss what the year has meant and where we are going from here as authors.

Some of the discussion highlights won’t come as news to our loyal followers. We greatly prefer developing novels than trying to market them after they have been published. We still like being independent writers with its inherent freedoms, but we realize that it is a lousy way to make a living. We are still delighted when we get a favorable review, especially when it is from someone new.

Some insights caught us by surprise. After a year of polishing three manuscripts to the point they were ready to be published and working hard on a fourth before deciding it would never meet our release standards, the passion to generate a new novel currently doesn’t burn as hotly as it did last year. Some of this is due to the fact that we had years’ worth of drafts already written by the time we released Bobbie-1 and now we are faced with the task of starting from scratch again. This week we’ll be starting our second round with the Bobbie Titan sequel, and after that we have nothing near ready to send out to our advanced readers. We have plenty of ideas, but the desire to work and rework those ideas into something worth reading isn’t as strong as it once was. Some of this might be attributed to burn out. We have been pushing pretty hard. But some of it might be due to the novelty having worn off. After this rework of Bobbie-2, we’ll have to see if we start waking up in the middle of the night again because the new story won’t let us sleep until the ideas in our heads have been transferred to the electronic page.

While we wrestle with our future as writers, we thought it would be nice to celebrate our anniversary with a giveaway. So, from now until the July 4th holiday, we are giving Bobbie Titan in the Mark of Kain away for free. While we know all of our loyal followers already have their copy, this will be a chance to recommend us to someone new. For details, GoHere!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sweet Miss Jillian

As our loyal fans will know, we aren’t afraid to make our heroines undergo some pretty radical transformations. What might not be common knowledge is that we’ve seen some transformative changes in the young people we know that are every bit as incredible as those we put our fictional characters through. And for all of these changes we’ve witnessed, perhaps none have been more remarkable than the changes experienced by our niece, Jill.

Jill has always been pretty and, until recently, she seemed destined to grow up a beautiful airhead. During most of her time in school, Jill was the bane of her overachieving mother’s existence, since she happily avoided anything that was remotely mentally challenging. It was a daily struggle to get this lovely girl to do any homework at all, and even the idea of completing anything challenging, like math or science, was absurd. It got so bad at home that Jill would regularly come to our house for after school studying just to ease the tension at home. While we were no better at getting her to complete her school work, it was a lot more pleasant around our kitchen table having snacks and listening to all the reasons why it would be impossible for our lovely niece to finish her class assignments.

Then, seemingly overnight while she was in high school, Jill decided she was a genius. The next thing we knew she had not only caught up all of her old coursework, but she was acing all of the advanced courses she was offered. She’s still gorgeous and laid back, but now she attends a university on scholarship and can’t decide if she wants to pursue advanced studies in math, physics, or perhaps something involving artificial intelligence. Her vocabulary is now so advanced that not even her mother understands the jargon that spills out from around her still knockout smile. We keep searching the USB port we figure is located on the back of her head somewhere since we think Jill’s mom traded her in on a robot when no one was looking.

Whatever it was, Jill’s changes were no less spectacular than what we put our fictional characters through. And, while we admit we were taken completely by surprise, we couldn’t be any more proud of our wonderful niece.